By Liz Martinez and Kabrea Tyler; The Whetstone – lifestyle
Pictures by Liz Martinez
You don’t have to bother asking Assistant Professor of Multimedia Communication Ron Douglas whether he feels safe on Wesley College’s campus.
“I think my chances of dying in a shooting are about the same as hitting the Powerball,” he said. “I feel fairly safe because threatening events are exceedingly rare.”
For anyone else who is the least bit nervous and wants to know if there’s a plan out there, Wesley’s security office has an emergency plan for lockdowns. Some faculty and students know the policies and said they feel safe, while other faculty and staff said they didn’t know about any formal procedures.
Director of Safety and Security Walt Beaupre said the last time Wesley College had a lockdown was Aug. 27, 2014.
“A lockdown can occur for various reasons such as an active shooter, a terrorist or hostage situation, or a tornado,” he said. “In 2014, Dover Police reported a shooting at Division and Kirkwood streets and requested the campus be placed on lockdown.”
When alerted of a lockdown, occupants of the college building within the emergency area are required to lock all doors and windows.
“Security staff will lock all exterior doors to campus facilitates and Maintenance staff will assist if needed,” Beaupre said. “Staff will be positioned inside all exterior doors to prevent personnel from departing.”
When emergencies happen on campus, security sends texts and emails through the e2Campus alert system.
Junior Dakota Smith is one of many students who receives security texts and e-mails and takes the time to read them, Yet he said doesn’t think it benefits everyone.
“I’ve never seen any other form of communication from security before,” he said. “A lot of people don’t open those emails so it’s not going to get to everyone.”
Sophomore Ashley Royer said otherwise.
“I like the e2Campus alert system because it’s the best way to spread the word quickly,” she said.
Some students said they feel safe on campus even though they are not familiar with lockdown procedures.
“Security is always around but I don’t know what to do in a crucial situation because no one has ever gone over procedures,” senior Elvie Domond said.
Freshman Cowan Cummings agreed.
“I feel safe on campus because I haven’t experienced anything yet, although nobody has ever said anything about procedures,” she said.
Other students said they wanted Wesley’s security to step things up.
“They’ve never explained lockdown procedures and they really should stress it better to the students,” Smith said. “This school isn’t in the best area, there are gunshots all the time just one street over.”
Royer also said security should better educate students about emergency plans.
“I have not been told what to do in case of an emergency, Wesley is slacking,” she said. “Wesley should update students on what to do in an emergency.”
Student Affairs Assistant Ashleigh Maser said being well informed of emergency plans is important.
“I believe all faculty, staff, and students should be aware of these procedures to ensure safety for all on campus,” she said.
Other students and staff said they would rely on their instincts because they don’t know the proper protocol.
“I keep my phone on me, and I have security’s number and I receive emails however one may go off personal intuition,” adjunct history professor Deborah Wool said.
Sophomore Kyle Smith said he feels safe but also said he knew how to protect himself during urgent situations.
“Depending on the situation and the placement of the class, I know what to do,” he said. “Fire? Exit the building. Shooter? Lock the doors or hide.”
Freshman Rex Chege also said he didn’t worry about his safety so much because he trusts Wesley’s security.
“I feel safe because my RAs make me feel safe, telling us to call security and don’t get involved,” he said.
Roe RA Yaa Yamoah said it’s her job to protect her residents.
“As the RA, it is my duty to make sure everyone stay out of view,” she said. “It is important to proceed to a lockable room, close and lock doors, turn off TVs and lights, and close blinds.”
Even though many staff and students said they don’t know about the lockdown procedures, Wesley follows a plan that has worked in the past.
“During the last lockdown, the suspect was arrested several days later by Dover police,” Beaupre said. “Everyone was notified through the e2Campus Alert System through text and emails.”
Dean of Students Wanda Anderson said it’s because of Wesley’s emergency plan the campus remained protected.
“I was on campus during a lockdown from a shooting off campus,” she said. “I do know that students and employees were safe and unharmed due to our lockdown procedures.”